Wednesday, April 3, 2019
– Brad Paisley helped break ground today for The Store, a nonprofit free-referral based grocery store he helped found with his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley.
Belmont University is partnering with them.
Paisley personally jumped onto the backhoe on site to officially break ground on The Store's location.
"I'm so excited to be here and see this dream come to fruition. In Nashville, there are one in seven people and one in five children that have food insecurity. That means they don't know where they are going to get their next meal. The Store will be another resource to help families and individuals going through a hard time but working toward self-sufficiency," says Kimberly Williams-Paisley.
Brad Paisley said, "Our goal is to give dignity to parents. They can go to The Store and shop in a completely normal way, from choosing the food to checking out, but with no money exchanging hands. The kids can even ride a mechanical pony out in front of The Store - no charge. Kids do not need the stress of wondering how their parents are going to feed them. In Nashville we have the power of the benevolence of the residents to support The Store."
Individuals and families will be referred by nonprofit and government agencies for a term of one year. There is no charge to those referred or to the people and agencies that send them. They may shop for food to supplement their income during times of crisis and as they work toward self-sufficiency.
Founder's Circle supporters include Belmont University, ESa, Sysco Corp. and Amerigroup Corporation. Sysco is providing a financial donation, equipment and food. Amerigroup is offering financial support and health and food expertise. Much of The Store's food will come from Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and will include perishable and nonperishable offerings. All food in The Store will follow guidelines set by dieticians from Second Harvest Food Bank.
Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher said, "Belmont's mission is to challenge students with an education that empowers them to use their talents and skills to engage and transform the world. As an alum, Brad Paisley has certainly achieved that mission and more throughout his career, and today's groundbreaking for The Store marks another milestone in the work he and Kimberly are doing to impact lives for the better. I am especially grateful that Belmont University has been invited to partner with them in this effort, and our current students and faculty are already laying the groundwork to serve Store patrons through legal aid and health care clinics. This is just the beginning - we anticipate The Store being a significant part of the Belmont community for years to come."
The construction is projected to be completed by the end of 2019 at a cost of $1.5 million for 4,000 square feet. To complete raising funds for The Store's construction, the "Brick Campaign" has been launched. With a donation of $500 or more, donors will receive a personalized 4x8 brick that will create the sidewalk in front of The Store. There are a limited number of bricks. Donations are accepted via web.